Friday, February 15, 2008
BAE and Saudi Princes 'Dirty Tricks' Revealed in Ending SFO Investigation
The record shows that BAE lawyers exerted might and main to get the 2004 investigation by the Serious Fraud Office stopped by lobbying ministers but when this failed BAE changed tack and the next thing was a threat from the Saudis to with-hold security information on terrorism from the UK. When the Attorney General called off the SFO investigation into BAE in December 2006, he explained it was 'necessary to balance... the rule of law with the wider public interest.' Shortly afterwards Tony Blair publicly reinforced Goldsmith's contentions.
Now we learn that a few days after Bandar's visit to London in December 2004, Blair took the 'exceptional step' of writing to Goldsmith to warn him that continuation of the SFO investigation 'risks seriously damaging confidence in the UK as a partner'. An SFO internal memo, of 13th December 2006, summed up meetings with the British ambassador who passed on the Saudi warning:
'We have been told that "British lives on British streets" were at risk...If this caused another 7/7, how could we say our investigation was more important?'
So it now seems that the supreme insider, Prince Bandar, put a gun to Tony Blair's head in order to prevent an investigation continuing in which he was a prime suspect? It is to Blair's discredit that he backed down and allowed the course of justice, effectively to be perverted. What is also utterly reprehensible is that Bandar should have used as a threat something which ostensibly his government supports to the utmost: common action to fight the War on Terror.
And we wonder why we can never seem to make any real progress in the War on Terror.
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